AMAZON CITES “SAFETY” TO BIOMETRICALLY TRACK DRIVERS. This week, Amazon rolled out new requirements for delivery drivers to consent to biometric tracking or lose their jobs.
The AI-powered surveillance system utilizes cameras and tracks drivers’ location, their bodily movements, and other biometric data.
An Amazon consent form drivers are now required to sign, titled “Vehicle Technology and Biometric Consent,” reads in part:
At Amazon, we are continuously evaluating technologies that make it easier for drivers (referred to in this consent as “Delivery Associates”) to deliver packages safely and securely, as well as improve the quality of delivery experience for Delivery Associates and Customers. The vehicles you operate while making deliveries may come equipped with technology such as telematics devices that collect GPS and video and photograph capabilities, and sensors (the “Technology”). The vehicles are video-monitored by cameras that are both internal and external and that operate while the ignition is on and for up to 20 minutes after the ignition is turned off…
According to the form, the technology can also track vehicle location and movement, including miles driven, speed, acceleration, braking, turns, and following distance.
Amazon is claiming “safety,” the clarion call of control and surveillance, as the main reason for their new comprehensive tracking. But they admit “quality of the delivery experience” and simply monitoring workers are also reasons for the new tracking systems. The technology even touts interactive watchfulness, including prompting drivers when driving “distractions” are presented.
The consent form makes clear that biometric data is collected and retained at the discretion of the company for up to 30 days:
Amazon may also use certain Technology that processes Biometric information, including onboard safety camera technology which collects your photograph for the purpose of confirming your identity and connecting you to your driver account. Using your photograph, this Technology may create Biometric information, and collect, store and use Biometric information from such photographs. Using this technology, Amazon generally retains a user’s Biometric Information only for as long as it takes to complete the verification of your identity and associating the Technology to your driver account but may retain Biometric Information for up to 30 days after it is generated.
As a condition of delivering Amazon packages, you consent to the use of the Technology and collection of data…
There are currently around 75,000 Amazon delivery drivers. But reports about the new invasive requirements have noted that they don’t just apply to Amazon employees, but to employees of companies contracting with Amazon to deliver packages.
Just last month, Amazon announced they were installing AI-powered four-lens cameras in all of its Amazon-branded delivery vans. Meanwhile, outlets including Reuters have reported that some drivers are quitting over the intrusiveness of the new protocols. Drivers have related incidents where AI-powered cameras have creepily sensed and reacted to yawns and other facial and body movements.
HOMEWORKERS IN FRANCE FACE AI-WEBCAM MONITORING. A French outsourcing company is implementing AI-surveillance to monitor its 380,000 workers.
According to The Guardian and other news sources, Teleperformance announced deployment of an AI-powered webcam system that will monitor home-based workers to ensure they aren’t checking their phones, surfing the web, leaving their desks, or otherwise engaging in non-work activities. The Guardian utilizes workers from Teleperformance, which boasts a workforce that is located in 32 countries around the world.
According to Teleperformance, their cameras scan at random intervals to determine “breaches of work rules during a shift.” If a violation is observed by the AI-watching technology, the camera snaps a photo and sends it to a manager, who has 20 days to act.
Beyond cracking down on “slackers,” Teleperformance claims their surveillance is also being forced on their workers for the lofty purpose of “risk mitigation and data security, which is required by most of our customers.”